CLASS faculty member serves as translator for 2016 Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature was recently awarded to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan and a CLASS faculty member who worked with Dylan to translate his music into Italian is proud to have participated in Dylan’s iconic career.

The Swedish Academy named Dylan the award recipient "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." Dr. Alessandro Carrera, Director of Italian Studies and Graduate Director of World Cultures and Literatures in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston, is Bob Dylan's Italian translator. His first book on Bob Dylan was 'La voce di Bob Dylan' (Bob Dylan's Voice), published in Italy in 2001 and then reprinted in an expanded edition in 2011.

During his career, Dr. Carrera has translated over 300 songs and numerous prose for one of the major Italian publishing houses, Feltrinelli. He is currently working on an expanded, translated and annotated edition of all Dylan’s lyrics.

“Since I was 15 years old, I have always been involved with music and philosophy and Dylan served as a great inspiration to me, “says Dr. Carrera, who was born and raised in Italy.  “Although, I didn’t understand everything he was saying, because my English wasn’t very good and at the time, I was still inspired, by his music.”

Dr. Carrera has translated virtually all of Bob Dylan’s prose and lyrics into Italian, including the autobiographical essay, "Chronicles Vol. 1," (2005), "Lyrics 1962-2001," (2006), and the prose poem, "Tarantula," (2007).

In 2007 Dr. Carrera was the keynote speaker at the first international Bob Dylan conference at the University of Minnesota. His contribution, "Oh, the Streets of Rome: Dylan in Italy," is included in the conference proceedings. 

He is currently translating and annotating a new compilation of Bob Dylan's songs ("The Lyrics: 1961-2012"), which will become available via retail outlets on November 8, 2016. It will be the only fully annotated edition of Dylan's lyrics available in any language.

-Toni Mooney Smith